Monday, March 2, 2015

Side Effects...({Day 58})

I haven’t written in weeks (hello captain obvious) but while I was on vacation, living the island life gave me the inspiration I needed. I am so beyond happy that I decided to still go on vacation even while on chemo treatments. My oncologist gave me the go ahead. Yes, there was risk on the plane of catching something but not enough to not enjoy a vacation. We are diligent in watching for a fever or anything like that in which I would head straight to the hospital. Basically, the pros outweigh all the “what if’s.” The main thing I hate about Cancer is all of the stupid “what ifs” and “ can I’s?”… It’s like your life is one big guessing game. What if I do that? Can I even do that? Can I eat that? Can I TOUCH that? Oh shit I forgot to wash my hands for the one freaking millionth time today! Honestly, I can’t live scared of the what if’s. The first night we got to beautiful Clearwater Beach we dropped off our bags and headed straight down the pristine white sand beach. We were in sandals but it’s hard to walk in sand with shoes so I took mine off. My hubby says “I’m surprised your walking bare feet in this there is a lot of bacteria.” What the hell? I said I’m going to enjoy my vacation and put my feet in the sand. He totally understood of course and agreed with me.  I’ve also enjoyed some alcoholic bevs I mean who couldn’t? It’s actually been great but not something I’ll do when I get back, I need to be as healthy as possible through treatment. However, the amazing thing is that before and when  I was diagnosed if I drank even half a glass of wine my lump under my arm pit and whole arm would itch and hurt SO bad…bad enough I would feel like chopping my arm off. It’s a side effect of drinking alcohol when you have lymphoma. So of course  I was nervous to try a drink here. BUT AMAZINGLY I had no bad effects. The chemo is working so well! After only two treatments my mass in my arm pit is SO small and my chronic cough is GONE. I’m looking forward to the third (today) to see if we can get rid of the arm pit mass all the way! It’s these victories against this evil disease that really keep me going. I know here in a few treatments everything I can feel will be gone and I will be wondering why we still need to finish them but I will keep going…keep pushing through. I mean I’ve only done two (three by the time I get this posted) and have most likely 12 treatments total (possibly only eight if I’m lucky but I almost WANT to have all 12 to nip this in the bud permanently).
Everyone asks me about my hair. I mean the week before we left on vacation I still had all of mine. My oncologist said I WILL DEFINITELY lose my hair (Usually between day 10 through 17 after my first treatment.) Well it was day 17 ish and my hair had been so lifeless  and dull and starting to thin out and shed and I decided to shave it off before we left. I didn’t want clumps to be falling out on the plane. Most of all I wanted to stop worrying about it and hearing about it all the time from other people. It was constantly on my mind. I was even dreaming about losing my hair. I had already chopped it pretty short so why not go all the way now and not worry anymore? I can’t even tell you how FREEING that moment was when Ian was shaving my head. Yes, I cried. Yes, it was emotional. But I was FREE. I took control and told Cancer to shove it. I took control of my body. I did it, not chemo. I have a great wig that I am growing to love, but as much as I love it it is uncomfortable after several hours. So I mostly wear it out but at home I wear scarves.  I’ve been walking on the beach every morning. The first one I wore my wig. The past 4 I wore a scarf and it was MUCH more comfortable. It is scary but every time I wear it my confidence grows. The main reason it is scary is because it screams to strangers “I HAVE CANCER.” I don’t want people to feel sorry for me or treat me different. I don’t want people to take that extra glance or stare at me when I’m at the grocery store with my boys, and feel sorry for them because their Mother has Cancer. It’s like ok my secret is out to the WHOLE world to people I don’t know and who don’t read this little blog. To every Joe and Jane that passes by on the street. I need to get over it but for now most of the time I will wear my wig. My comfort zone. Some time on here I will post a picture of me bald, but for now you will just get my first scarf picture and some wig shots. I had a lot of pictures of the shaving process I was going to share (my husband shaved his head too hehe) and my phone got stolen the second day of Vacation. I’m not sure if those pictures are backed up or not because I think as of two weeks ago my cloud was full. So those are gone for good. The pictures from my last chemo are gone as well but I have plenty of times to take more to share. The hubs has two phones one personal one for work so I’ve at least had a phone while here to get me by. He doesn’t have facebook or any social media on it though so I have been WAY unplugged which has actually been a blessing in disguise! It’s been nice not constantly checking when I get notifications. But of course I will have it on my new phone I’m not getting THAT unplugged! 
I wear my scarf in a giant bow
I'm really starting to grow fond of my wig.

Anyways beaches (hahahaha pun intended) I better go soak up the sun while I can. Thank you for reading my vents and thoughts. I appreciate all the love and support I get. I feel so very grateful and blessed. I will write a post with more about vacation but I figure I should wait until it is over to do that.


  1. You are beautiful, sweet friend!!! I'm glad you decided to enjoy a vacation.

  2. Vacation sounds amazing!!! So glad you didn't let Cancer have that one!

    Love that wig! Looks very natural!

    What a bummer about your phone, that's not fun to deal w/ while on vacay!!!

    Keep going, friend, you're doing great!!!!

  3. Love your positivity! Your one inspiring woman.

  4. Wow! Glad to know how you are engaging with that reality while keeping a sunny disposition all around. That's not an easy feat, and I really admire you for being positive. Don't worry, you'll certainly have a lot of ways to make up for the side effects, such as the hair loss. There are medical and natural ways to resolve that. You'll just really have to be keen on choosing what will work for you the best. Thanks for sharing that! All the best to you!

    Byron Brewer @ Knight and Sanders